Delta state native John Odafe Asiemo also known as Daddy Showkey may have been away from the music scene in recent times, but his work as an artiste still speaks volumes for everything he represents.
Born, bred and buttered in Ajegunle, Daddy Showkey was one of the first of his kind to make it out of the gritty Ajegunle slums thanks to music.
In the 90s, Daddy Showkey was part of a quad group known as Pretty Busy Boys, the other members of the group were Daddy Fresh, Cashman Davies, and Sexy Pretty. Though the center did not hold for too long before the group split, they were able to spin one album ‘Big Belle’.
The uncertain fate of Daddy Showkey’s music career after his group split led him to sign up for the National Defense Academy with hopes of joining the military. But things changed in 1994 when former Pretty Busy Boys member, Daddy Fresh contacted him for a possible collaboration. This led to the release of his debut album Welcome. However, the real success didn’t come for Showkey until the release of his sophomore album Ghetto Soldier.
Here are 5 reasons to revisit the collective.
As an indication of the maturity of his artistry, Showkey abandoned the Jamaican-influenced patios many artistes of similar Ajegunle origins used, choosing to sing majorly in pidgin English. The creative decision paid off as pidgin was the only language majority of the Nigerian populace understood, this consequently gave him a wider appeal with the Nigerian public.
Revisiting the original Galala dance.
Burna Boy’s revival of the Galala dance in recent times has been nothing short of nostalgia-inducing but going back to witness Daddy Showkey’s original presentation of the dance is just brilliance. We still don’t know the story behind the dance move which mostly comprises of quickly interchanging one’s foot placements, but we are sure it is not unrelated to the years Daddy Showkey spent in the slums of Ajegunle as a boxer and an acrobat.
For nostalgia inducing childhood memories.
If you were born in the mid-90s, Daddy Showkey was definitely a part of your childhood. The singer rose to fame in the same post-Fela renaissance space with many late 90s – early 2000s artistes like Baby Fryo, Daddy Fresh, Nico Gravity amongst others. Any song from Daddy Showkey’s Ghetto Soldier album is guaranteed to have emotions running through your veins but particularly the biggest hits Diana, Fire and Somebody Call My Name have made the album relevant till date.
Returning to a simpler time.
We are not going to get preachy about how much Nigerian music has changed, but Daddy Showkey’s music is one of many indicators of just how far Nigerian music has come. From simplistic videos shot in the Ajegunle ghettos to songs with narratives themed around everyday issues instead of buttocks and wealth, Daddy Showkey was at his peak at a time when the industry didn’t care too much all of the paparazzi that have become statistics for measuring success and impact. These success stories are very important in mapping trajectories for the industry in terms of growth and pop culture impact.